Immigration and Urban School
Districts: How do you meet the
needs of “all” students?
Rebecca Vonderlack-Navarro, PhD
Research and Policy Associate
CUBE Annual Conference
October 2014
4th Grade General
Education Teacher of
ELLs
“I went to a [EL] transition classroom, and now there’s a red flag next to
my name. I guess now I’m an ineffective teacher? I keep getting
letters from the district saying, ‘You’ve been recognized as an
outstanding teacher’…But now because I teach English-language
learners who ‘transition in,’ my scores drop, and I get a flag next to my
name. I’m scared to teach in the fourth grade. I’m scared I might lose
my job if I teach an [EL] transition grade level, because I’m scared my
scores are going to drop, and I’m going to get fired because there’s
probably going to be no growth.”
Linda Darling-Hammond (2013) Getting Teacher Evaluation Right
Challenges and
Opportunities


Federal and state policies intended to enhance
teacher quality, standardize achievement, and
intensify accountability with little regard for
educating today’s range of linguistically and
culturally diverse students
Opportunity with the Common Core and
increased language and literacy demands—
Language, literacy, and content area
teaching are the shared responsibility of
both bilingual/ESL specialists and general
education teachers.
Policy Brief Series: Linguistic
and Culturally Responsive
Teacher Preparation
1.
2.
3.
Demographic data and research to illustrate the rise
of diversity within the Illinois student body and how it
contrasts with the largely white, female, and
monolingual workforce
Growing scholarly consensus on the specified
knowledge and skills all teachers need to be
linguistically responsive
Comprehensive Illinois policy agenda to promote
linguistic and cultural competence throughout the
teaching profession
Immigration and
Today’s Students




Students from immigrant families will account for
ALL the projected growth in the student
population from 2005-2020—largely Latino and
Asian
African American and White student populations
in IL have declined
1-of-4 children in IL have one foreign-born
parent
88% of IL children born to immigrants are U.S.
citizens
Fry, R. (2008). The Role of Schools in English Language Learner Achievement Gap. Washington, D.C.: Pew Hispanic Center.
Census American Community Survey 2011
% of Illinois Students
Considered Low-Income
a. 15%
b. 25%
c. 49%
e. Over 50%
*Children of foreign-born parents account
for 33% of all Illinois children in low-income
families
Low-income: receive public aid, live in foster care, or eligible for free or reduced-price lunches.
ISBE 2012 Condition of Education Report.
2012 ELLs in Illinois
Total ELLs in Illinois
(2012): 207,417
34%
% of Illinois students who
were ELL: 9.9%
% of Chicago Public
School students who
were or are identified as
ELL: 34%*
66% of ELL students are
outside of Chicago
Chicago
55%
Chicago
Suburbs
Remainder
of IL
11%
Spanish
Other Lang
Analysis: Latino Policy Forum
Sources: Illinois State Board of Education. Bilingual Education Programs and English Language Learners in Illinois SY 2012 Statistical Report. (2013). “Chicago suburbs” includes the collar counties
of Cook, Kane, Lake, Dupage and Will. http://www.isbe.state.il.us/research/pdfs/ell_program_stat_report10.pdf
*Gwynee, Julia, Amber Stitziel Pareja, Stacy B. Ehrlich, and Elaine Allensworth (2012) “What Matters for Staying on Track and Graduating in Chicago Public Schools: A Focus on English Language
Learners.”
Increase in ELLs in
Illinois, 2004-2012
160,000
140,000
137,728
120,000
100,000
80,000
60,000
85,644
71,512
69,689
40,000
20,000
0
2003-2004

Chicago
Non-Chicago
2011-2012
Percent Change from 2004 to 2012:
 Illinois: +24%
 Chicago: -3%
 Non-Chicago: +61%
ANALYSIS: Latino Policy Forum
Sources:
Illinois State Board of Education (2004) “Illinois Bilingual Education Programs,”
Illinois State Board of Education (2012) “Bilingual Education Programs and English Language Learners in Illinois.”
ELL Growth in Illinois
Map Created by
Carlos Lopez
February 2014
Latino Policy
Forum
ISBE “2005 ELL Student
Statistical Report”, ISBE “2012
Bilingual Education Programs and
ELLs in Illinois
Counties with New
Presence of ELLs
from 2005 to 2012
26 Counties have a new
presence of ELL students
Map by Carlos Lopez
Source: Illinois State Board of Education, ELL Student Statistical Reports
Analysis: Latino Policy Forum
Illinois ELLs by Grades,
2012
65%
PK-3rd
17%
4th-6th
8%
7th-8th
10%
9th-12th
Analysis: Latino Policy Forum
Source: Illinois State Board of Education, Bilingual Education Programs and English Language Learners in
Illinois SY2012 Statistical Report . http://isbe.net/research/pdfs/ell_program_stat_report11.pdf
Illinois ELLs PreK-3rd
Grade, 2012
Reasons for exit of
ELL program in 2012:
64.3% exited and
attained proficiency in
the English language
(transitioned)
35.4% exited but did
not attain proficiency
- exited from program
at parent request
- transferred to
another district
- graduated high
school
- exited for other
reasons
- dropped out
PK
K
1st
2nd
3rd
0
5000
10000
15000
20000
25000
30000
35000
Analysis: Latino Policy Forum
Source: Illinois State Board of Education, Bilingual Education Programs and English Language Learners in Illinois SY2012
Statistical Report . http://isbe.net/research/pdfs/ell_program_stat_report11.pdf (p. 11)
Today’s Illinois
Teachers
% of Illinois Teachers who are White:
a.
b.
c.
d.
60%
70%
80%
90%
Illinois State Board of Education “Educator Supply and Demand in Illinois: 2011 Annual Report”
Boser, U. (2011). Teacher diversity matters: A state-by-state analysis of teachers of color. Washington, DC: Center for American Progress.
Linguistically and Culturally
Diverse Students and Common
Core: Higher Academic
Expectations

ALL teachers are language teachers

Little mention of ELLs and second language
acquisition

Bilingualism and biliteracy are not prioritized
as part of the definition of college and career
success.
Common Core and
Language-Focused
Mathematics
Excerpts from Margo Gottlieb and Gisela ErnstSlavit (2013), Academic Language in Diverse
Classrooms: Promoting Content and Language
Learning. Sage publications: Thousand Oaks,
CA
Word/Phrase Level
“T: How do we find out mean? That’s another
one of those multi-meaning words isn’t it? Am I
talking about an attitude when I’m talking about
the mean for numbers?
S: No
T: Whether someone is nice or mean—
S: No
T: What am I talking about…I’m looking for the
mean value…”
*Ernst-Slavit and Mason (2011) as quoted by Gottlieb and Ernst-Slavit (2013) “Academic Language: A Foundation for Academic
Success in Mathematics” p.11
Challenges of Word
Problems

Same pronoun is used to refer to different
subjects
Suppose you and three friends buy a large pizza.
You each pay with a $5 bill. The pizza costs
$12.75.
You will also pay $0.83 tax on the pizza.
How much change will you and your friends get?
*Houghton Mifflin’s Math Central, 2001, p.287, as quoted by Gottlieb and Ernst-Slavit (2013) “Academic Language: A Foundation
for Academic Success in Mathematics” p.8
Complex Sentence
Structures
Prepositions
6 divided by 12 is ½ (or 0.5).
6 divided into 12 is 2.


On Saturday, 203 children came to the
swimming pool. On Sunday, 128 children
came. How many more children came to the
pool on Saturday than on Sunday?
*Excerpt from Gottlieb and Ernst-Slavit (2013) “Academic Language: A Foundation for Academic Success in Mathematics” p.12
“We Real Cool”
By Gwendolyn Brooks
The Pool Players.
Seven at the Golden Shovel.
We real cool. We
Left school. We
Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We
Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We
Jazz June. We
Die soon.
What is Linguistically
Responsive Instruction?

Understanding the Difference between Social
versus Academic Language.

Intentional language development across the
four domains of speaking, listening, reading,
and writing

Understanding Language transfer.
Examples of Spanish
Cognates for Fractions
Unit
English
Spanish
Convert
Denominator
Double
Equivalent
Fraction
Mixed
Multiple
Numerator
Package
Quadruple
Rational
Triple
Convertir
Denominador
Doble
Equivalente
Fraccion
Mixto
Multiple
Numerador
Paquete
Cuadruple
Racional
Triple
*Excerpt from Ernst-Slavit, Gottlieb and Slavit (2013) “Who Needs Fractions?” Academic Language in Diverse Classrooms. Promoting Content and Language
Learning. p.93
“If we teach today’s students as
we taught yesterday’s, we rob
them of tomorrow.”
― John Dewey (1944)
Policy
Recommendations
(1)
(2)
Implement teaching standards to influence
pre-service coursework specific to
educating linguistically and culturally
diverse students.
Implement pre- and in-service preparation
guidelines so the standards influence the
entire profession.
*Building alignment from preparation to
practice.
Pre-Service

Establish policies and guidelines for
 how certification exams and performance
assessments reflect the linguistic and cultural
standards. Establish the same for exam
evaluators.
 field experiences that include linguistic and
culturally diverse settings.
 work with higher education institutions to
attract faculty with expertise in linguistic and
culturally diverse students and communities.
In-Service

Establish policies and guidelines for:
 how the standards will influence content for ongoing
professional development for in-service teachers.
 the design and implementation of a supplemental
observational rubric for teacher evaluations built
around the standards.
 school- and district-level collaboration for
educating linguistic and culturally diverse students.
This goal includes leadership that prioritizes and has
expertise on linguistic and culturally diverse students
to influence decision-making.
Conclusion

The foundation for teacher effectiveness is
how well they are prepared to teach the
children who are in front of them.

All educators – teacher, principals, service
providers – need the same important
training: they must be prepared to build on
the cultural, linguistic, familial, and
community influences their students bring to
the classroom.
Guiding Questions
for Small Groups

How is language and literacy development
being addressed in your district?

What policies are in place to address the
burgeoning future student diversity—
particularly ELLs?
Contact Information
Rebecca Vonderlack-Navarro, PhD
Research and Policy Associate
Latino Policy Forum
[email protected]
Thank you to the Joyce Foundation for making this work
possible.
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